Seek the Lord while he may be found… Isaiah 55:6
Our scripture readings today take us on a pilgrimage to seek the Lord. This journey takes us down roads we might not travel because, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”(Isa 55:8) So this road we are on is trying to help us see more as God sees. Isaiah shows us a road filled with mercy and forgiveness. This road leads us away from our sinfulness. Notice that the focus of this journey is not on our sinfulness. We leave the sinfulness behind, but the focus is seeking the Lord. It is finding the road that leads to Him.
In her reflection in Celebration, Mary McGlone writes:
No one can approach God without the correct attitudes of heart. Thus the prophet says, “Let the scoundrel forsake his way and the wicked his thoughts.” We can read in that a rather unflattering but probably accurate assumption that all of us have something o the scoundrel, if not outright wickedness, in us. Nevertheless, the prophet is not encouraging navel-gazing. He knows well that too much focus on our own sinfulness does nothing to move us beyond our own ego. Instead, he directs us to forsake our self-concern and focus on God, who specializes in mercy and is downright prodigal when it comes to forgiveness. Abandoning the emphasis on our sin, we can begin to recognize the abundance of God’s clemency and healing love.
When we seek this encounter with God our religious vision becomes immeasurably larger. As our encounter with God broadens and deepens, so will our gratitude that God’s ways are not ours, but infinitely better – and they are possible for us to learn.
In his letter to the Philippians Paul has a deep sense of how God has taken him on a different road. It has moved him from persecuting the faithful to proclaiming the faith. His experience has taught him that Christ has been and will be magnified in him, whether in life or death. The word “magnified” reminds us of Mary’s “Magnificat” in which Mary talked of her soul magnifying the Lord and her spirit rejoicing in what God had done in her and through her.
The road to seek the Lord is not an easy road. It is a way that challenges how we see things. We will find God’s mercy and forgiveness on this road and we will be asked to show that same kind of mercy and forgiveness to others. We will see how good and generous our God is and we will be challenged to show that same kind of goodness and generosity. As our image of God grows we will be growing too.
Are you ready for the pilgrimage that seeks the Lord?